Young Brits, one pregnant, drown in strong currents off Zambujeira do Mar
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Two young Britons, one four months pregnant, drowned on Sunday after strong currents off the picturesque beach of Zambujeira do Mar swept them onto rocks.
Neither victim has been formally identified (see update below), but they have been described as a 33-year-old woman and a male friend of 34.
The two were on holiday with friends who watched the tragedy unfold as local surfers attempted rescue in vain.
The Sun newspaper picked the story up from tabloid Correio da Manhã this morning and has carried an interview with one of the surfers that battled to change the outcome.
João Mendes told the paper that both victims were “in pretty bad shape. Neither ever had a pulse”.
Maritime police chief Rui Pedro Silva Filipe said: “It appears the man went to the woman’s aid when he saw she was in difficulties and was holding onto a rock.
“He reached her but it was when they were coming back to the beach that they started drowning, maybe because they were tired”.
The bodies have been airlifted to Beja where they are due to be autopsied.
Said the Sun “the beach where the tragedy occurred has no lifeguard service after September 15”.
As so many people have remarked in recent years, the tradition of pulling lifeguards off beaches mid-September is becoming ‘outdated’ in that summers now appear to be lasting longer than they did in the past.
In certain ‘popular spots’ in the Algarve, for instance, lifeguards are now kept on till mid-October, precisely because of the risks to bathers.
UK tabloids have now named the couple, as Kim Fletcher and Danny Johnson. They were engaged to be married and leave behind two daughters, one from a previous relationship of Ms Fletcher’s, and a four-year-old.
The couple were staying at a spiritual retreat in Portugal, explains the Daily Mail. Kim ran a “successful yoga business” and Danny was a musician who had put his career on hold to help his girlfriend with her company.